n Journal of Public Administration - The governance of metropolitan cities in federal systems

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Metropolitan cities - large conurbations in excess of a million people that are socially and economically integrated, though not necessarily legally recognised as single political entities - are found in most federations. Four models of governance can be discerned: i) a layered government consisting of two levels of local government - a number of local authorities are joined in an overarching co-ordinating structure, but without sacrificing the existence or powers of the constituent members; ii) a conglomeration of single purpose, metropolitan-wide structures, created for public transport, pollution control, water and sewage system, fire protection and so on; iii) a unified local government structure; and iv) governance by state or provincial government, wherein metropolitan areas are kept balkanised and to a large degree the state assumes responsibility for them. Each of these governance structures presents difficulties of its own, which will be explored in this paper.

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